Most people try to reduce belly fat by doing crunches and exercises which targets the abdominal area, they think exercise targeting abdominal area will reduce their belly fat, Unfortunately, spot reduction is not possible. Spot reduction is a myth. The way you can’t decide where to put fat on, Similarly, you can’t decide where to lose from. You need to lose overall bodyfat which will simultaneously reduces the belly fat.
Fat deposition is generally genetics, governed by some kind of disease or the type of food you choose to eat and certain lifestyles. Men tend to deposit fat in their abdominal area and women tend to deposit fat on their thighs and hips area. Cortisol also known as stress hormone that makes fat deposit around the abdominal region.
Either you want to lose belly fat to look sexy or to fit in that desired dress or to feel good is your own motivation. Belly fat is visceral fat which is more dangerous than fats at arms or back because belly fat(visceral fat) is associated with type-II diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, strokes and many others.
Losing overall fat is not that difficult but the belly fat is the fat which goes at last and takes a bit of effort and discipline. To lose belly fat here are some effective tips to follow to make the most out of your fat loss journey.
1. Eat Plenty of Fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through our digestive system. It promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturally eat less.
A person eating 2200 to 2500 calorie diet should at least eat 30 grams of fiber, which unfortunately our normal diet is not able to fulfill.
Foods which you should include in your diet to make it fiber-rich are
1. Chia seeds
3. Kidney beans
4. Rolled Oats
5. Apple unpeeled
7. Sweet Potato
2. Eat More Protein
You should try to include more protein in your diet because protein boosts metabolism and also helps you keep full. Many studies have shown that people with high protein diet lose fat faster than people on a low protein diet.
High protein diet builds lean muscle mass while promoting fat loss.
You should include food rich in protein like beef, chicken breast, turkey, eggs.
3. Cut down Sugar
Sugar causes an insulin spike which leads to fat gain. Sugar contains fructose which is linked to many diseases and studies have also shown that high sugar intake leads to abdominal fat gain.
Healthy sugars such as honey and natural fruits and juices should be used sparingly as it also contains fructose.
Avoid packed sugary drinks and fruit juices as they contain lots of sugar and our body doesn’t process liquid sugars the way it processes solid sugar. Generally, we tend to drink more the liquid than we would actually eat as solid.
To control sugar craving add cinnamon in your morning tea or coffee or sprinkle it in your breakfast.
4. Reduce Stress Level
Cortisol also known as stress hormone is released when our body goes under stress due to various factors like sleep deprivation, excessive physical load or maybe work pressure and etc.
The more abdominal fat we have the more cortisol is also released, so we need to reduce stress to control cortisol release.
Try incorporating yoga and meditation to beat stress.
5. Replace Unhealthy Fats with Healthy Fats
Studies have shown foods rich in trans fat leads to central obesity or fat gain in the abdominal region. Research has also shown that foods rich in monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats lead to decrease in waist size. Replace trans fat food like palm oil with polyunsaturated fat like sunflower oil.
Use Coconut oil which is medium chain fat for cooking purposes. Don’t add extra oil just replace them with good fats because good fats are also high in calories.
Some healthy fats sources are
Olive oil, Nuts, Flaxseed, Chia seeds, Omega-3(found in fatty fish), etc.
6. Check your Carb Source
Eat whole grains and unprocessed grains.
Replace white bread with brown bread (whole wheat bread) and white rice with brown rice.
Avoid masala oats and eat whole or rolled oats.
7. Eat Vegetables
Your parents were not wrong when they told you to eat vegetables. Recent studies have shown that having 1 or 2 serving of raw or slightly cooked vegetables help to cut down the lower belly fat.
So start loving your veggies, some vegetables to include in your diet are
Cardio burns a lot of calories in a short period of time and also highly beneficial for your cardiovascular activities. Do any kind of exercise which takes your heart rate up.
Run on the treadmill, try elliptical or the best is HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training).
HIIT is more beneficial because it boosts metabolism also and burns more calories in less time than steady state cardio.
9. Lift Weight
Many numbers of studies have shown that weight training helps in losing belly fat. Weight training doesn’t burn many calories during exercise but it boosts the metabolism and keeps on burning more energy for a longer period of time.
Try to include weight training in your routine 3x per week. Best way to make more out of exercise is to do cardio after weight training.
Do not simply go for crunches, Russian twist and leg raises because they burn very few calories try to include compound exercise like squats, deadlift, bench press, push ups, pull ups, and etc. They burn more calories and also strengthens the abdominal muscles.
10. Track Your Progress
Keep tracking your progress and adjust your weight loss plan from the insight of your trackings.
Weigh yourself every day at the same time. A study has shown people who weighed themselves every day achieved there target more than who did not.
Be consistent and don’t lose hope and more importantly keep realistic and achievable goals.
Happy Weight Loss Journey!